Sep 8, 2009

Photoshop: watermark


I admit to having mixed feelings about this tutorial. If only because we shouldn’t be forced to watermark our photos for fear of them being stolen. I think I found an appropriate intro photo, though!  And *poof* gone are the days of willingly posing for mom. I have to bribe the kid these days.

But all kidding aside, I guess I was pretty naive when I set my first steps into the wondrous world of food blogging. Naive to think there was something like an online honor code among bloggers. You know, that thing called common courtesy… not using or taking something that doesn’t belong to you, be it photos, recipes or even an exact copy of a certain recognisable photography style. Unfortunately a lot of people do have to protect their work.

My photos (and other bloggers photos) have been used and even been published without my permission. And I don’t mean people using a single photo for linking because that’s perfectly okay. Bottom line is, sooner or later watermarking those shots that really mean something to you is inevitable. Especially online. Here’s how you can do it in a fairly non-invasive way.


The Technique:

A very visible watermark can actually add style & class to your photo. At least I think it does. Especially when you use a pretty font, a low opacity and have your company name or logo in it. But you don’t always want your logo to be that visible. Not in every photo. For those photos this is a perfect way to embed a watermark that you can make practically invisible.



It’s real easy to turn these steps into an action so that adding your personalized watermark will be as easy as pressing one button. Here’s a tutorial on how to record an action.


Choose your type tool from the sidebar menu. Choose any font you like and set the color to white.


Type in the text you want to use. This can be anything from your (company) name to your website URL or just a huge © will do.


Certain tools are unavailable for type layers so we have to rasterize the layer first. Right click the type layer and choose Rasterize Type from the menu.


The type layer is now a normal layer.


Here’s why I needed you to rasterize the layer; we’re adding a little effect to it. From the top bar menu choose Filter >> Stylize >> Emboss.


Set the angle to 135, the height to 3 and the opacity to 100. This will turn the text kinda grayish. Or is it greyish?


Until we change the blend mode form normal to Overlay, that is.


This will turn the text transparent. Play with the blend modes a little. Using the Hard Light blend mode also creates a beautiful effect, it kinda gives it a little shadow around the edges. It elevates the text.


Set the opacity as high or low as you like. For me 30% usually does the trick. Pressing CTRL + T allows you to resize or rotate the logo.


Drag the logo anywhere in the photo. What I like about this technique is that you have full control over the visibility of the watermark.


Cheat sheet:

  • Choose the Type Tool from the left-bar menu
  • Choose your font, font size and set the font color to white
  • Type the text you want to use
  • Right click the type layer and choose Rasterize Type from the menu
  • In the top-bar menu go to Filter >> Stylize >> Emboss
  • Set the values. Angle: 135  Height: 3  Opacity: 100
  • Change the blend mode to Overlay
  • Adjust the layer opacity to your liking